Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stop in for a Long Visit

Hmm, grab a nice hot cup of coffee or tea (or just water to cool yourself down in the pre-summer heat) and spend a few minutes at my kitchen table. I have freshly baked brownies with hidden spinach and blueberries...No? Why not? Okay, I'll pull out my secret stash of Dove chocolate and we can chat? Milk or dark? 

So many things have been going on (see here or here) that I really have not had time to write. I love writing and always will, but one of my struggles has been properly using my time. I love the saying, "Idle time leads to idol time" because that is really true for me. I love my computer and my "free" time, only my free time is coming at a time that really isn't free. It belongs firstly to my Lord, then my husband and then my children. When I have fulfilled all my obligations in those three areas, then I am allowed free time...that's not what I've been doing!!! Anyway, I see myself blogging once a week or so for the next few months but hopefully, as I learn to manage my time well, I will have more time available for blogging. I have been scheduling my upcoming homeschooling year, planning out the books I'd like to go through and whatnot, establishing a new family routine and schedule along with ChorePacks which are truly awesome! I have also been trying to create a summer wardrobe for me and my daughter out of the fabric I already have and most lately, I've been searching for a job.

My homeschool plan is pretty cool, at least I'm excited about it. I kept going back and forth about early "formal" academics and reasoned that if I were to put my daughter in kindergarten (which is what I'm talking about) she would be into much heavier academics than if I were to homeschool, but, I don't think that I am a late-starter. I do acknowledge that during the first few years (from about 5-8 years old) what you are really doing is giving your children character training while teaching them to read and write and do math. I am so okay with that, but, I don't think that the fact that I will be attempting to develop character is a reason to sluff off on the work I'd like my child to do. My curriculum for kindergarten includes Saxon Math K, which is really a dumb thing to have purchased, but at the same time, I am extremely glad to have a script with which to guide me as I try to teach my kiddo about patterns, calendars, and counting (among other math concepts). Was it necessary? No, probably not. Can she learn all of those things without a text? Absolutely. Can I teach them effectively without the program? I think not, truly. I don't tend to be very good at explaining things to my children. One of my many flaws. I appreciate the book telling me what to say and when. I will add my own personality when I need to. Outside of that, I am using Sonlight's Pre-K (4/5) program except it's Bible component, I have a replacement in the Children's Illustrated Bible. I have begun to teach Jordyn to read with The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and finally I will be using Handwriting Without Tears only because it was easy to order. I estimate that our days will be somewhere between one and one and half hours. Obviously, if my child starts freaking out and shows signs of hating school, we'll slow down and just enjoy reading, but I think she will do very well with what I have planned.

As far as schedule goes, I have found (thank you Duggar family!) Managers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores and ChorePacks. My kids love the ChorePacks and so do I. It is a fun, easy reminder of the tasks that need to get done and my kids love flipping the cards. I even made myself one (to demonstrate how cool it was to the kids) and I love it. It is so much easier than a list for my little morning routines, when I can easily forget to do something (like start a load of laundry!).

As for the summer wardrobe...well, that is pretty tricky. It always comes back down to several dichotomies. Modesty or fashion? Skirts or pants? Dresses or skirts? Long or short? Bathing attire or ??? And, the end result is that if I make a decision in one category, can I neglect the rest? I am doing this to please the flesh or the Lord? What is the root here?

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. I Peter 3: 1-4 KJV
I don't think that those verses say that apparel is irrelevant, but I do think that they speak to the heart of the matter. It isn't about what you wear, as much as it is about the condition of your spirit. Am I wearing dresses and skirts to feel like I am doing okay? Am I just covering up the sinful pride and ambition and yes even anger and fear that I feel? Am I behaving in a manner so as to have someone describe me as "meek" or "quiet"...I think not. I think that is why I LOVE watching the Duggars on TV. Michelle Duggar is such an example of what a meek and quiet spirit looks like. It is peaceful to witness. I have a long way to go. For now, I would like to wear primarily dresses or skirts. I can't think of a good reason to wear pants, though not standing out comes to mind, so I want to try to wear more of them.

I am making a dress from a pattern that I got when I was almost 20 pounds heavier, and it doesn't fit I've been scaling the pattern down, which is essentially creating my own pattern and now, I have the pleasure of learning how to construct a sleeve pattern. It is really fascinating stuff and I've always wanted to know, but it is a little more than I bargained for.

And last but not least, a friend of mine has given me a contact to email about a work from home computer job. It is a good job, but it will be very difficult for me to do. I am especially worried about timelines and deadlines, but if the Lord provides this job for me, then I will know that it is in His will and I know that He (and He alone) will give me the strength to accomplish it.

Finally, as you might figure, I don't think I'll be writing too much. I'll do my best, but that list is pretty long and I have even more than that to do...but it was nice visiting you for this little while. I'll stop by your place as soon as I can...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Like I Promised...

Here are the pictures of the cutest little girls in their cute little dresses. It was so hard to make those dresses, but so much fun too! They have motivated me to make more cute dresses for little girls so I am knee deep in about three new projects!!! Hurray!!! All that on top of starting homeschooling (we are doing a sort of year-round approach) and developing my character in a BIG's BUSY around here!!!

This is the whole wedding party, including the little girls, minus the baby, she was sleeping in her nana's arms!!

This is the beautiful bride, my sister, Katie, and the little kiddos. The girl on the left is Meagan holding her doll (she is my youngest (half) sister), my daughter Jordyn and then my niece Bethany and of course, my son, Noah.

These are the kids walking down the "aisle" which was really a nice dirt path at this outdoor was incredibly beautiful.

This is the entire wedding party again, after the wedding, and with the addition of baby Claira in her mother's arms (and eating the bouquet, yes that is what she is really doing!).

And of course, who can resist little Claira Jeaux...

Friday, June 5, 2009


The hits just keep on coming. I am so thankful that I know that God is sovereign otherwise I would have to be thinking by now that there was some big cosmic joke being played on my family. Interestingly enough, usually when Christians start experiencing trials and tribulation, they assume that it is spiritual warfare. I don't. See the thing is, I think that God is teaching me a lesson, quite a few of them actually and all at the same time!

Sure, it's possible that Satan is trying to get us down, in fact we know that is a fact, but at the same time, I don't attribute all these seemingly random events as a negative (spiritual warfare) but instead choose to see them as an opportunity for growth and sanctification.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. -Isaiah 41:10

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
So what happened? We found out that Eric will likely be deploying to Iraq within the next month, but he was able to take the vacation with us. We were completely out of money when an opportunity came up for me to watch an elderly lady for two days. We visited family (which is both a positive and a negative) and even managed to reconcile differences with a brother. We drove home after being away for two weeks to find someone had broken into our home and stolen our brand new TV and our entire DVD collection (over 300 titles!), but we had been trying (unsuccessfully) to limit our hours in front of it anyway.

Really, the clear message that we have been given these past few months has been, value people, not things. We are still working through all of the various issues, including whether it is "Christian" to declare bankruptcy and whether we have a choice even if it isn't. Getting to this point is the sin. We are learning that it is essential to invest in your family and not always things to surround your family with, that 30 minutes playing a board game is infinitely better than 90 minutes watching a movie, and that poor money management skills will affect every realm of your life.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. -Romans 13:8

These are hard lessons and they yield a significant amount of stress and self-doubt and plenty other negative feelings, but God is faithful to the end and so must we be.